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Celebrate Summer and Reading with the Library

We call it the Summer Reading Program, but it feels more like a Summer Festival.

Where else can you find a lineup from May to August that includes a free concert by Mark Bilyeu of Big Smith (June 23), stargazing parties, storytimes, comedy acts, zoo animals, music by the teen band Supercharge! and thousands of books, e-books and audiobooks to fill your summer days?

Our brand of Summer Reading Program encourages young and old readers, alike, and rewards them with incentives, prizes and entertainment.

Beginning Saturday, May 19, all ages can register to participate in the free program. Kids from birth through grade 5 can pick up an official game board at any library branch and begin recording their hours. Teens can sign up online at thelibrary.org/ownthenight. Adults can register at any library branch.

See the lineup in the summer Bookends catalog available in branches this week, or read it online at thelibrary.org/programs.

Kids and teens who reach reading goals receive the Food ‘n’ Fun Flipcard, with 32 offers by area businesses for free treats and free or discount admission to local attractions. Teens and adults can also enter weekly drawings for prizes and bigger prizes when the program ends Aug. 4.

Not interested in a formal program? You’re still welcome at any of the live summer events.

There’s a serious side of summer reading. It encourages youngsters develop the habit of reading, it helps children keep up their skills; reluctant readers can be drawn in by the fun activities. Reading to infants and preschoolers helps them build reading and language skills. Besides, the program is just good fun and provides an opportunity for family time.
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If “Little House on the Prairie” books are among your favorites, you’ll want to hear Caroline Starr Rose, author of a new book, “May B.,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, in the Library Center Story Hour Room. Rose has family in Joplin and lives in Albuquerque, N.M. The event is free and open to all ages.

“May B.” is a story about a young girl surviving on the Kansas frontier. Rose will go further into frontier life in her talk, “Buckboards, Buffalo Chips and Bloomers: A hands-on presentation about life on the 1870s frontier.”

Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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